Draw and Scan

I have a tendency to think anything I can do anyone can do. It’s always a surprise, a pleasant one, to have someone look at something I’ve done and think it’s good and wonder how I did it. Trust me, if I did it, so can you.

One of the best geekery tools I have bought myself is the small (photo-sized) HP scanner. I splurged on it just as I was finished the divorce and moving back home (to Ontario). I love the scanner. Of course, it took me several months to get past the unwrapping it stage. I knew it would be a great thing for making art. It’s even better than I thought really.

I can draw very few things, I’m not far beyond the whole ASCII art and stick figure stage. If I practice I can teach myself to draw other small things like a Canadian maple leaf, a few flowers and so on. Nothing elaborate or exquisitly beautiful. It bugs me at times cause I can see so many great pictures in my head. For now they are stuck up there.

Anyway, the drawing part is also interesting. There are so many things you can do with coloured pencils, gel pens, and different kinds of paper too. Experiment yourself. I also clip things out of magazines, sales flyers and the newspaper. I seldom use those for anything online though. Not yet anyway. The trick with using something you have cut out is to give it a white background. If you add a plain white sheet of paper behind the clipped out picture you will have a much easier time making use of it later. Plus, fewer of your jagged/ cut edges show.

Once you have your picture or drawing scanned you need to open it in a graphic program to finish it off, mainly to re-size it and add effects like fading it for a webpage background. I use the graphic program that came with MS FrontPage. I’ve yet to explore it fully but I’m getting to the good parts.

So, there’s the story of my web graphic ability. See, nothing you couldn’t do yourself with the right tools.

Have fun.

Wallpaper, Off the Wall

There are lots of other sites offering free wallpaper and screensavers but none are as much fun to browse as Webshots. On the freebie side you can pick 5 pictures each day, that’s plenty! I have photographs of flowers, holiday scenes, abandoned buildings, quilt squares, etc. Search for whatever comes to mind.

I’m sending the link to Webshots to my Mom. She noticed my wallpaper and asked how I got it and how I made it change automatically.

100 Things About Me (Blame Whoever Started This Blogging Trend)

  1. I failed grade nine typing in high school.
    2. I learned to type while attempting to become an IRC diva/ slut.
    3. I was a very good virtual slut.
    4. I didn’t especially like it, it got boring and I burnt out.
    5. I was hopeless at mathematics in school, though I could spell it very well.
    6. I only became good at math when I began working as a department store cashier.
    7. I’m divorced.
    8. I wanted kids but I am a very well liked Aunt instead.
    9. I’m 40. Will be 41 in December.
    10. Don’t you think it’s a sign of self absorbtion to begin every sentence with “I”? I do.
    11. I am sometimes obsessed with myself.
    12. I am very easily distracted.
    13. I often skim more than I actually read anything.
    14. I very seldom read the instructions, I just dive right in and learn by my mistakes.
    15. My ex-husband was upset when I fiddled with my computer.
    16. He was even more disturbed when I accidentally poured a glass of water over his computer monitor.
    17. Miraculously, the monitor worked just fine after a couple of days to dry out.
    18. I collect old Canadian coins.
    19. I collect postcards, have hundreds of them from penpals around the world.
    20. I stopped writing to penpals when I was in my 20’s.
    21. I think the love of my life (so far) was a man I never actually met. He was an Englishman living in Hong Kong, named Chris.
    22. I have slept with two men in my life but only had sex with one.
    23. I am for capital punishment.
    24. I was nearly an aborted baby.
    25. I am the oldest of four children (all adults now) in my family.
    26. My Dad was born in Scotland, South Shields where they had famous lifeboats made of cork.
    27. My Dad died over a year ago, I’m semi-orphaned.
    28. My Dad is not buried. His ashes are in a nice bottle-thing, at my brother’s house, somewhere.
    29. My Mother’s family are Irish and Austrian/ Ukranian.
    30. I love perogies, Cheemos are the best I’ve found so far.
    31. The best way to cook frozen perogis is to bake them in the oven, still frozen. Just add some oil to the bottom of the pan then add sour cream and butter once they come out of the oven.
    32. I am good at making bread from scratch.
    33. I also make an especially good cheesecake, lasagna and cabbage rolls, multicultural.
    34. I can type fast and make few errors. I test myself frequently.
    35. It took me most of my life to learn to spell receive. But, when I stop to think about it, I have to make sure I haven’t forgotten how to spell it.
    36. I’m now working on spelling definitely and seperately. I’m not checking those tonight.
    37. My favourite expression is “bite me” but I’ve had to stop using it. Some people just don’t have a sense of humour.
    38. I have allergies, mainly to dust, animals and mildewy stuff. I can never work at GoodWill or any other thrift store, though I think it would be a great job.
    39. I have asthma. It’s pretty mild now.
    40. I was born in the Year of the Dragon, 1964. A Wood Dragon.
    44. I’m a Sagitarrius by western astrology.
    45. I am passionate for ice cream.
    46. During the divorce I gained a truck load of weight from eating ice cream.
    47. I am a Canadian who married an American, went through the K-1 finance visa process.
    48. I was a legal resident when he changed his mind and didn’t want to be married any more.
    49. He still lives in our same apartment and has gotten into photography as a hobby.
    50. My Grandmother, my Mother and I were all born in the same year, sort of. Our ages ended with the same number. This year it would have been 91, 61 and 41.
    51. My Grandmother died of breast cancer several years ago.
    52. Her nickname used to be Pepper but I wasn’ allowed to call her that, though she secretly loved it.
    53. I like to spell Girl with 2 R’s cause women are not girls but grrls are women.
    54. I’m teaching myself to draw cartoony things.
    55. So far I’m progressing a bit, just moving up from stick figures.
    56. I love ASCII art and have created a gallery of my own ASCII pictures on my site.
    57. The country I’d most like to see is Russia.
    58. My middle name only has three letters, my Dad picked it.
    59. I was born in the Don Mills area of Toronto.
    60. I’ve traveled across Canada on the Greyhound bus.
    61. I liked it so much I did it three times.
    62. I stayed in the International Youth Hostels. Vancouver had the biggest but I met more people in Winnipeg and Regina.
    63. I survived the windiest corner in Canada, on a windy Winter day.
    64. I’ve been to the top of the CN Tower, though I didn’t take the stairs.
    65. I’ve been known to write erotica.
    66. I’d like to write mysteries and horror, not too horrible though.
    67. I like the smells of vanilla and lemon, not together.
    68. The best sound is a little kid laughing, how can you not smile too.
    69. My favourite holidays are Halloween, Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.
    70. Did you notice that I skipped a number? Hah! Made you look! I like playing April Fool’s jokes on my family, it’s my other favourite holiday.
    71. I like to read gothic romance, like Victoria Holt. I also like Shirley Jackson’s writing.
    72. I also have a fetish for stories of tribes of Amazon women and end of the world scenarios where people struggle to keep going.
    73. I’ve always been a very good girl. People call me “the nice sister” when they meet our family. Sometimes I think being nice and good is sick, definitely a sickness of some kind.
    74. I’m not very tall (5’4″).
    75. I used to lie about everything.
    76. I gave that up when I lost track of what I had lied about.
    77. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to print.
    78. I had my first full time job when I was 16.
    79. I had my fist apartment (away from family) when I was 16.
    80. I quit high school when I was 16.
    81. Eventually, I went to college as a mature student.
    82. I took Corporate Communications in college.
    83. When I’m out of sorts (upset or whatever) I can go outside and feel almost instantly better.
    84. I’m an Earth Witch.
    85. I don’t believe in any gods and I worship nothing.
    86. I love life and being alive. I’m an optimist.
    87. I was once a telemarketer. They fired me.
    88. I love old (derelict, abandoned) buildings. Urban exploration.
    89. I like to sew, especially crazy quilting and embroidery.
    90. I taught myself to crochet but have forgotten how.
    91. I love road trips, alone or with a friend.
    92. I took a road trip by myself after coming back to Canada after the divorce.
    93. I found a beach somewhere near Kincardine, all pebbles and a little sand, a few seagulls. I began to feel human again there.
    94. My first car was a 1993 Ford Tempo.
    95. I don’t know why, but I have always had a thing for rocks, pebbles, stone in general.
    96. I spend a lot of time in second-hand bookstores, browsing. Usually I find at least one to take home. Often it’s non-fiction.
    97. I have way too many books but can’t seem to let many of them go.
    98. My favourite colour is deep, dark red.
    99. My favourite flowers are tulips, sweet williams (carnations) and violets.
    100. I love being outside during a stormy day, rain and wind make me feel invigorated.

Decorate your Soul

Comes The Dawn

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that loving doesn’t mean leaning
and company isn’t security.
(Kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.)

After a while you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain
and the inevitable has a way of crumbling in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you stand too long in one place.

So, you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers.
And you learn you really can endure,
that you really do have worth.
You learn that with every good-bye comes the dawn.

By Judith B. Evans